Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pastel Basket Blocks....

In my last post, I mentioned a quilt top that I was working on.  I had purchased the finished blocks at an estate auction of a quilter back in 2011.  Most of what I bought at that auction was fabric, but there was one tote that had these finished blocks in it along with extra fabric and the pattern...all part of a "kit".  (The original price tag of $180 was still on the plastic bag inside the tote!)

In an attempt to try to finish up some "UFO's", I pulled the blocks out a couple weeks ago and took a close look at them.  They were pretty, but they were NOT cut or sewn accurately, so they were not square.  To make them usable, I had to trim them down from the approximate 8.5" that they were to 8.25".  In doing so, I lost all the points on the baskets.  I hated to see these blocks go unused...so losing the points was the answer to making the blocks square.

I also didn't like the layout in the pattern, so I threw them up on my design wall and came up with this layout...adding the cream sashing between the blocks to cut down on the "busyness" of the scrappiness and to increase the size of the top to fit a queen-sized bed.  

Then I decided to make my first-ever "piano-key" border.  I finished attaching the last border tonight!!

It measures 84.5" x 102" so it is difficult to get a picture of the whole thing.  Instead, I folded it in half and laid it across my ironing board to take these pictures.

The colors are very "shabby chic"...soft and muted...what is referred to as "low volume".  It's not my usual type of quilt because:
  1.  I like lots of contrast between the colors to show the definition of the pattern more; and
  2.  I don't usually like "kit quilts".  I prefer "scrappy quilts" with my own choice of fabrics.
All-in-all, I'm very happy with what I was able to do with them and I think they make a very pretty quilt top...and I didn't have to do all the work of cutting and sewing the original blocks!  

For now it goes on the quilt rack with the other quilt tops that need quilted.  At first I thought I'd machine quilt this one, but I'm thinking I might put it into the frame after I finish Erin's wedding quilt.  I've never done the "big stitch" quilting using perl cotton thread, but I'm thinking this might be the quilt to try it on.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer's Almost Over...Time For a Change!!!

Quotes for the Day:

"Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." ~M. Scott Peck

"Go where you are celebrated—not tolerated.If they can't see the real value of you, it's time for a new start." ~Unknown

You're probably thinking I've fallen off the face of the earth...again...but really I've just been incredibly busy.  I can't believe that summer is over because I feel like I've not really had a summer yet this year.

My summer started out with deadlines for finishing three quilts...

Clark's 1st Birthday quilt...

Kate and Jon's wedding quilt...

...and Karen's comfort quilt...

In July, we took 14 days and went to Georgia to take care of our two grandsons so that their parents could get away to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  

Just a few short days after returning from that trip, I decided that I had to make a job change to maintain my own sanity, so near the end of July I started job-hunting.  It didn't take long before I had an interview...followed by a job offer...which I accepted last week!  I have put in my resignation at my current employer and this week will be my last work week there...followed by an already-scheduled vacation for our daughter's wedding. 

After my vacation, I will start my new job in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) at West Virginia University Hospital.  I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time!  Change is always difficult, but I'm so ready for this new phase in my life and career!  

In the midst of all of this job hunting/interview/preparing to leave my current job, etc., I've been seeking calm and peace in my quilting.  

I pulled out a project that I had purchased at an estate auction 4 years ago.  The blocks were already pieced but needed put together and quilted.  

I squared up the blocks, laid them out on my design wall in the layout above, then decided that they needed some cream-colored sashing between them to help break up the "busyness" and help make the top large enough to fit a queen bed.  They are now sewn together with the sashing and I am currently working on making a "piano-key" border with the leftover fabric.

I've also been hand-quilting on my daughter's wedding quilt.  (She gets married in 2 weeks!)  The quilt won't be done in time for the wedding, but just this weekend I reached the half-way point and am now working on the second half!!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Another Quilt...

In June a dear friend and co-worker was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  Since then she has been off of work while she receives daily chemo and radiation therapy.

I am heartbroken by this turn of events as this lady is probably one of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet.  And she's a great nurse, to boot!  She was my nurse in the Recovery Room last year when I had my surgery.

As quilters do, I decided that I wanted to make her a lap-quilt.  Last weekend I pulled out a "UFO" (unfinished object/project) and put the blocks into a quilt top and this weekend I machine quilted, bound, and labeled the quilt.

After taking it to work to have our co-workers sign the blocks, it is now ready to gift to her...hopefully, sometime this week.

The pattern is called "Wonky Stars" and was a free one that I saw around the internet.  I choose it to be my "leader/ender" project from June 2013-June 2014.  It was a great pattern to use up those odd shapes of fabric that you end up when cutting out a quilt and doesn't require any matching points!!!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

And, Yet...ANOTHER Quilt Gifted....

Kate, the daughter of a close friend, is getting married in July and Andy & I have been invited to attend.  In May, she contacted me and asked if I'd make a quilt for people to sign as a guest book at the wedding.  It was short notice and I was a little hesitant, but after thinking it over I gladly said I would.

After we returned from our family visit to Illinois I was able to get started on it.  From there it came together quickly.  

Kate told me the colors and then let me take creative license from there.  I had it finished in about two weeks and was able to gift it to her at her bridal shower two weeks ago.

Susan (mother of the bride), Kate (the bride), and me...
I think Kate looks like she likes it!  :)

I had no pattern for it...just a picture I had found on Pinterest.  I downloaded the picture, printed it out, and developed my own pattern from there!  

I cut 5" strips from fat quarters and used my Easy Angle ruler to sub-cut the triangles from the strips.  The blocks were 5" unfinished...4.5" finished.  It is made from batiks and is machine quilted.

I thought I had gotten a picture of the label on the back, but I guess I forgot to take one.  


Friday, June 5, 2015

Clark's Choo-Choo Train Quilt...

Quote for the Day:
"Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation."
~Lois Wyse

Over Memorial Day weekend, Andy & I traveled to Illinois for a family gathering.  Erin & Dale and their kids were coming up from Tennessee for the gathering, also.  Since Clark is turning one year-old this month, I thought I'd just deliver his birthday present to him in person since we won't be able to attend his party and I don't particularly like to mail quilts.  (I'm always on edge until I hear that they have arrived to their destination safely.)

In our family, it is a tradition that I give a "Choo-choo train quilt" to each of the grandchildren on their first birthday.  You can read about the tradition in this post here and see pics of the previous quilts.  

This little guy is going to be one in a couple of weeks...

...and here is his birthday gift!!!

Penguins on the back!!!  I love love love the penguins!!!

So far all of the grandchildren love and use their quilts a lot!  I hope Clark loves his as much as the others do!  


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Three Quilts Gifted...

Over Memorial weekend, Andy & I traveled to Illinois for a family visit.  On the way through Ohio we stopped at my brother's house for a visit and to deliver some quilts that I had made for three of his grown children.  

The first one was for Leah.  The embroidered top was purchased from Ebay and I added the borders and hand quilted it.

The second quilt was for Sarah.  This was a top that I started as a craftsy.com block-of-the-month, but ended up deleting a couple of their blocks that I didn't like and adding a bunch more that I found online.  It is hand quilted. 

The third quilt that I gifted in Ohio went to my nephew, Daniel.  He served our country for 4 years in the Marines just a short while ago, so I made his "Red, White, and Blue" in tribute to his service! The pattern for this one is "Blue Ridge Beauty" by Bonnie Hunter and is hand quilted, also.

I gifted one more quilt when we got to Illinois, but I will blog about that in a separate post.

All the quilts were received with much appreciation and the appropriate amount of "oooooh's and ahhhhh's"...and that does a quilter's heart good!  :)


Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Gift From a Friend...

Quote for the Day:
"There is nothing better than a friend, 
unless it is a friend with chocolate."
~Linda Grayson

A friend (and co-worker) gave me this adorable teapot that she found at the thrift store!

It has a cute little sewing machine on the lid and a quilt draping off the side of the sewing table!

Gee...I wonder why she thought of me when she saw it???  *wink wink*  

Thank you, Linda!  I love it!